“I have African blood, so… I am happy to help sport in Africa and especially to improve the tennis,” the Frenchman, top seed at the South African Open this week, told reporters at the centre.
“It was great what Arthur Ashe did and these sort of clinics are really important. This is the school of life and I am very happy to be able to help improve sport in Africa.”
The charismatic world number 14, whose father Didier was born in the Democratic of Congo, looked to be thoroughly enjoying his time with the hordes of children at the clinic.
The youngsters broke into song to thank Tsonga, and doubles top seeds Jeff Coetzee and Wesley Moodie, both South Africans, who also helped out.
The Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre was built in 1976 with funds donated by the former world number one, the first black man to win the US Open and Wimbledon.
Question for Black History Month: Tsonga was the subject of [a] private remark made by Carole Thatcher, presenter of the insert TV station name here television programme called The One Show, in February 2009. She referred to the tennis player as resembling a golliwog. Due to this Thatcher was suspended by the insert TV station name here.
[cheat… scroll down to The One Show]